Shepherding the mind unto the great nothing and settling upon the surging edges of a certain titular supervoid we find our rightful sepulcher, a resting place within the horrified chill of dematerialization at the cusp of the cosmos. Bangkok, Thailand-area borne death/doom metal quintet Reincarnated intend to give subtle physicality to the incomprehensible scale of the void as a very real and terribly gaping phenomenon to witness from afar within their odes to emptiness, thrilling thoughts of mass cessation and delve into morbid realms of nonexistence on this mercifully brief yet psychically mangling debut full-length. ‘Of Boötes Void Death Spell‘ offers finest merger between the most rotten nihilistic contemplation of existence recalled from the deepest, most doomed underground station of death metal past and present, lurking between modern atmospheric abstraction and classicist readability with considerable roots dug into proper doomed-death metal’s rhythmic presentation. Raw yet hardly feeble, succinct yet edging into immersive dread, the consumptive horrors available herein serve to merely introduce the listener to a wealth of ruinous possibilities.
Reincarnated formed as a quartet in 2017 between folks who feature in numerous Bangkok and Nonthaburi-area (north of Bangkok) bands of note including Savage Deity, Oldskull, and Shambles among others. The stylistic intent of the project was clear enough on their first demo tape (‘The Alpha Echo‘, 2020) which leaned into a sort of ‘Remnants of Expansion‘ era Krypts-esque approach by way of pensive, primitive and atmospheric early 90’s Finnish/North American doomed death metal rhythms with some distinctly nowadays abstraction of funereal phrasing and hesitant pace. It’d been an admittedly short tape and wasn’t all that engrossing to start but we’d gotten a general sketch of their far-off goal as a patiently rotting form of ‘old school’ death metal by way of morbid doom metal riffs.
If you can imagine a surreal version of Decomposed (U.K.) circa ‘The Funeral Obsession‘ faceted within the eerie, slower side of Sororicide‘s ‘The Entity‘ you’ve at least got a sense of this record’s grim underground reap. To manage some readability to folks who haven’t put much time and research into classic death metal underground releases, we could at least look to the late 2000’s/early 2010’s in terms of what cosmic tessellation we could breach for precedence. In that sense the elite and bounding post-caverncore era (read: early Incantation influence) output found on records from Drowned (Germany) and Cruciamentum provide an idea of where ‘Of Boötes Void Death Spell‘ lands between the ancient past and today, though they’ve left some room to perfect their own signature rhythms within this short and impactful debut which never fully indulges in funeral death/doom extremes and keeps their rushes of bloody death metal mid-paced yet always aggressive. There is a single-mindedness unique to classic death metal obsession which drives the guitarists hands toward riffcraft which reads as grotesque, bloodied events and which properly ratio death and doom rhythms at a 70:30 ratio respectively.
While opener “Ophiuchus Crypt” does a fine job of making good on the promise of the style indicated on ‘The Alpha Echo‘ this is more-or-less a piece in grand introduction of intent and a leap beyond that demo. A dour clean guitar overlay sets a foreboding, flattened depressive tone before the bone-rattling kick into gear around ~3:35 minutes in balances the mind unto a realm of aggression, effectively zooming us out to tumult on a cosmic scale. ‘Trip to Depressive Autumn‘ should come to mind as this piece settles in but as we scrape and drag against the crypt walls in witness of “Quasar God Oration” we can begin to see the innards of a mid-paced death metal album more clearly festering in view. For my own taste the big song on the record, or, the one to cement the experience beyond its impressive beginnings is “Proxima Hibernation” and it’ll come as no surprise that the most doom-forward dungeon lunging piece is the one I’ve gravitated toward consistently. Paired with the extended intro to “Triumphant Dead Comet” this’d been the major pull, the core of the experience on my end but it’d merely been an extended hot spot within an entirely consistent, no bullshit death/doom metal record.
With a trim ~31 minute set of five songs and with little to no fucking around, fanfare, or silly extras cluttering up the experience we’re able to clearly grasp the essence of Reincarnated within a heavily repeatable, unmistakable mood of cosmic horror and Eldritch dread generated. While brevity of the full listen might put off folks who’ve all the time in the world to fester I’d found ‘Of Boötes Void Death Spell‘ managed the exact right first impression, or, an ideal way to present the first major statement from a new entity — a gushing but measured impact felt which doesn’t yet tax the mind so much as entertain it with a satisfyingly dark and restlessly contemplative ‘old school’ atmospheric death metal sound. A very high recommendation.
|TITLE:||Of Boötes Void Death Spell|
|LABEL(S):||Inhuman Assault Records|
|RELEASE DATE:||September 3rd, 2022|
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